I must confess that I am an I Love Lucy junkie. NOTHING makes me happier than a day long marathon of my favorite redhead! I’m not sure if it is because I know I will have something to watch all day or if it is the fact that I know every episode by heart so I really don’t have to pay too close of attention, OR if it is just the fact that is it such a good show…but I can’t help it…it remains my all time favorite TV show and when it’s on, I feel compelled to tune in.
So the other day I got to thinking about my favorite Lucy episodes and I was amazed at how difficult it was to name a Top Five. It was even more impossible to rank them in any sort of order. It’s such a classic show that it’s tough to single certain episodes out and separate the entire plot line from an iconic “bit.” Obviously the famous “candy factory” scene is genius, as is “vitameatavegimen” and Lucy getting stuck in the home freezer, but in choosing my faves I tried to pick episodes that appeal to me in their entirety and not because of one scene or another. So here it goes, for better or worse:
Number 5. Lucy wants new furniture (Season 2). This was my mother’s favorite episode because she said that Lucy’s attempts to give herself a home permanent and make her own dress were art imitating life. Evidently she had the same results when she was younger and identified with the episode. I like it because the episode really centers on Lucy and Ricky without the additional sidekicks or the “Ricky, I want to be in the show theme” and shows how solid the writing was that the entire plot could be carried by two characters. Best line:
Lucy: Butter? On Bread? I’ll never get used to your strange Cuban dishes.
Number 4. Lucy and Superman (Season 6) A lot of my favorite I Love Lucy episodes tend to have guest stars and who could argue with a cameo from the man of steel himself? I love this episode not only because of George Reeves but the fact that Lucy was so dedicated to her kid that she would have played the role of Superman herself if she had to. Best Line:
Superman: Wait a minute, Mr. Ricardo, you mean to tell me that you’ve been married to her
for 15 years?
Ricky: Yeah, 15 years
Superman: And they call me Superman!
Number 3. Lucy and Bob Hope (Season 6) This is just awesome and I can only imagine what it was like to try and write for two amazing comedians. I have no idea if Hope’s team worked with the Desilu writers or not, but they were dead on in producing material that was perfect for Hope’s delivery style and I loved the rendition of “Thanks for the Memories” at the end. Best Line:
Ricky: How’s everything down on the farm?
Lucy: Well the pig’s all right, but the cow died. Well, back to the old ball game!
Number 2. Tennessee Ernie Visits. (Season 3) Tennessee Ernie Ford made three appearances on I Love Lucy and every time he did, he knocked it out of the park. However, I can’t help cackling every time I see his first appearance and listen to him use the backwoods expressions that the writers came up with. It is my understanding that Lucy was against the idea of having him on the show but after working with him she not only admitted her error in judgement, but insisted that they keep the extended script and break his story into a two-parter. Best line:
Lucy: You WALKED all the way from Long Island.
Ernie: Yep…ding donged if it ain’t!
Ernie: A long island!
Number 1. Lucy and John Wayne. (Season 5) Though it is technically part-two of the “footprint caper,” this episode crystalizes everything that made I Love Lucy so great. There is a fantastic storyline, physical comedy, a major star willing to take the standard Lucy treatment and in this case, it is Ethel that saves the day in the end. The “comedy of errors” routine of this episode has been done time and time again, but somehow this one is the gold standard. Best Line:
Lucy: I never read other peepers papers, paper’s peepers, people’s papals, I never have enough time!
Ethel: Have you seen the morning paper?
Ricky: Only as it flew by!
Lucy: I have seen the morning paper, but Ricky hasn’t!
Ethel: Oh….well, I just dropped by to say I can’t stay…
Do you love Lucy? Which are your favorite episodes? Did any of mine make your list? Let me know!
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